After a bitter defeat in the relegation first leg, 1. FC Köln have to seriously fear that they will stay in the Bundesliga. The team of coach Friedhelm Funkel lost against the favorite fright Holstein Kiel with 0: 1 (0: 0) and is under enormous pressure in the second duel on Saturday (6 p.m. / DAZN) against the North Germans. A relegation, it would be the seventh in the club’s history, would hit the FC seriously.
Simon Lorenz (59th) scored just 20 seconds after his substitution for the third division of the 2nd Bundesliga, who has already defeated Bayern Munich in the DFB Cup this season and is now close to promotion. In 2018 Kiel lost in the relegation against VfL Wolfsburg – now the team of coach Ole Werner “only” has to survive the second leg to become the first Bundesliga club from Schleswig-Holstein.
Kiel, which had awarded the direct promotion on the last matchday of the second division, was not unsettled. On the contrary: The guests determined the initial phase – and solved many situations technically and playfully. This left an impression on the people of Cologne, who initially found little access and mostly got caught up in individual actions.
This was also due to the fact that there was too little movement on the offensive and captain Jonas Hector in an unusual role as a striker had significantly less connection to the Cologne game than last. FC trainer Funkel had called Hector there, somewhat surprisingly, because the ailing Sebastian Andersson was not fit enough for 90 minutes and the Cologne squad hardly offers any alternatives in the storm center.
Hector, who had been strong for weeks, forced the first Cologne chance out of nowhere with a strong ball conquest: His shot was blocked at the last moment (30th), after the subsequent corner, referee Felix Zwayer rated a jolt from Hector to Kiel goalkeeper Ioannis Gelios as a foul and stopped play before the ball rolled into the goal.
1. FC Köln with usury of opportunities – Kiel’s joker stands out
Even after the break, Cologne initially remained the more active team – but Kiel struck ice cold. Lorenz, who had just been substituted, headed for the surprising leadership of the second division team, who subsequently withdrew and built on their strong defense.
Cologne responded with angry but ill-considered attacks. Sparkle finally brought Andersson to have more presence in the storm center. Dominick Drexler and Jan Thielmann, who both had their birthdays on Wednesday, also came into play to at least force the equalizer. The high risk also enabled the guests to counterattacks, for example a header from Janni Serra (78th) hit the crossbar at the beginning of the final phase.